You just never know when a natural disaster might strike at the heart of your company’s efficiency. While earthquakes and hurricanes are not a major concern here in the UK, the same can’t be said of fires or floods, with the UK having had at least one serious flood yearly since 1998, the Environment Agency warns.
Therefore, the big question isn’t so much how you react to a natural disaster but instead how you plan ahead to fortify your firm against damage it could incur from such a crisis. While technology alone wouldn’t be a silver bullet in this situation, the right tech could certainly help you to keep your company running.
Keep your online store’s products up to date
If your business indeed has an online store, it could play a crucial role in easing your company’s recovery efforts. This is because, while many people in your local community will likely be eager to support your business in its time of need, they might not necessarily be able to turn up to help in person.
“Give them a way to support your shop and your community with a donation or purchase,” advises Weebly founder David Rusenko, as quoted by Business News Daily. Heeding this tip will allow you to keep making much-needed revenue from sales – especially if your online store is stocked with up-to-date products.
Make sure you back up all of your critical data
Examples of this data would include major contracts, legal documents, tax returns and financial statements – and all of this should be safely stored in a way that would leave it still readily accessible even after your usual workplace is gutted by fire or extensively water-damaged due to flooding.
You should regularly and routinely back up this crucial data in the process of carrying out what would properly be termed your “business continuity plan”. This plan should account for such unfortunate possibilities as the loss or unavailability of your on-site IT systems or key members of your team.
Implement software your workers would be able to use from anywhere
Such software would include apps that enable you to store files and documents in the cloud, an online-hosted form of storage. Fortunately, the option of using cloud storage is now built into various productivity apps – including those in the Microsoft Office suite, such as Word and Excel.
While Microsoft Office apps seamlessly support Microsoft’s own OneDrive product, alternative cloud storage providers include Dropbox, Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud. Small Business Trends uses the term “BC in the Cloud” to describe software where the cloud assists in business continuity.
On the communication side of things, you could opt for a unified communications (UC) solution to help with your disaster recovery planning. A UC system would combine various means of communication – like emailing, faxing and instant messaging – into one online-accessible interface.
As a result, your workers would be able to– even from temporary, makeshift workplaces – continue interacting with colleagues and clients from the same digital mailbox previously available in the traditional office.